Traverse City, Michigan, is a city of about 15,000 people in northwest Michigan. It is the major port on the Grand Traverse Bay, an inland harbor of Lake Michigan. With beaches, parks, forests, downhill skiing, vineyards, cherry orchards, and abundant natural beauty, Traverse City attracts many people with advanced degrees and above-average incomes. It offers a wide range of housing opportunities including high-rise apartments, lakefront cottages, and single-family homes in a wide range of prices, sizes, and ages. The town has a large number of homes built before 1940, making it one of the more historic places to live in the U.S.
Traverse City has eleven neighborhoods, and nearly all of them have some sort of waterfront property, either on Lake Michigan, the Boardman River, or on one of the many lakes that are popular local destinations for fishing, swimming, and picnics. Lake Michigan homes are naturally the priciest, but because Traverse City offers so many attractions, most of the real estate here is above the average home price in Michigan. Most neighborhoods also have enough vacancies that finding a place to live here is a fairly easy process. Some of those vacancies are seasonal, as Traverse City has a high percentage of summer and second homes. So whether you are looking for a year-round place to raise your family, a lovely summer cottage where you can spend leisurely weekends sunning and swimming, or a place to retire, you’ll probably be able to find something to love in Traverse City.
There are several notable neighborhoods in Traverse City. If you love to be on the water, the Old Mission community sits on a skinny peninsula that juts into Traverse Bay. It is known for being a quiet neighborhood with a high percentage of retirees and seasonal homes. Most homes are single-family and were built before 2000. Greilickville is another upper-middle income neighborhood. It has a large number of single-family homes, although it also has a number of high-rise apartments along Lake Michigan. Like other waterfront areas of Traverse City, many of its residents have executive and management jobs. The Hillside Drive area is also upper middle class and almost entirely single-family houses, but has fewer lakeshore offerings than some other neighborhoods. Being a quiet, low-crime city with natural beauty, an abundance of activities, and a wide variety of housing options, it’s no surprise that Traverse City attracts artists and upper income residents. In 2012, U.S. News named it one of the 10 best places to retire in the U.S.